It’s supposed to be the cleanest place in your home, considering you prepare every meal there, but your kitchen ends up gathering the most stuff on a daily basis. Mail on the island, a drawer of endless tupperware, baking items piled on one another that spill whenever you grab something… how can a chef work in such conditions?
Decluttering your entire kitchen can be a daunting task, but doing it right can save you time every day. Here are a few ideas to help.
Take the required time
If you’re going to tackle this job, make sure you come at it with the right attitude. Don’t be afraid to take the time to do it right, and don’t be afraid to toss the junk or put it aside to donate. Decluttering doesn’t just involve one cabinet or drawer. You need to take everything out and reassess where each item needs to go. Get all the things you need such as boxes for storage, garbage bags for junk and cleaning products. Pick a starting point and have at it!
Zone your kitchen
Divide your kitchen into logical sections. Your prep zone should have cutting boards, measuring cups, mixing bowls, etc. The cooking area (stove and oven) should have pots, pans and bakeware nearby. Cleaning products and trash bags should be close to the dishwasher and sink. Food storage items like tupperware, foil and plastic wrap can be near the fridge.
Think about the way you move through your kitchen for each task. Whatever doesn’t belong in its zone should be removed.
Group similar items together
Within those zones, stash similar items together. Plastic bags and wrapping items can go in the same drawer. Pots and pans remain together. More importantly, categorize your pantry. Baking products in one area, spices in another as well as canned food.
You know that space between your counter and your ceiling that has that beautiful mosaic backsplash? It could also be used for storage. Cabinets are the most obvious way to declutter your kitchen. Make sure they go all the way up to the ceiling to take advantage of that extra space.
There are many tools that are designed to declutter and save space in the kitchen. A Lazy Susan can be used to stack similar items together and provide easy access on counters or in cabinets. Shelf and drawer organizers can partition items easily. Boxes or baskets can also be used, but consider transparent storage to easily identify the products inside. Also, if your cabinet or pantry door has the space, use a door organizer with pockets to store small and light objects.
Look to your walls
Many kitchens have walls that can be used for storage as well. Install a shelf for cookbooks, or pegs to hang aprons and cloths.
Move counter items to storage
If you’re short on counter space, try storing some of your smaller appliances and items in cabinets. Think about what is on the countertop that’s taking up space or isn’t often used. Toasters, coffee tins, rice cookers, a standmixer – those can all be placed in cabinets, if you have the space. Remember that an item doesn’t have to stay where it is simply because it’s always been there.